‘Let the board do what it must’
I attended the school board committee meeting on Monday, October 21 and the majority of the meeting was spent on sports and whether to consolidate or not. This issue arises each year, sometimes each season and it is always the same story. The district does not have enough money to continue programs that have low participation but teams and coaches rally to squeak out another year and the can is kicked down the road at the taxpayers’ expense.
My daughter attends Panama Central School and is a member of the CSP Wolfpack cross-country team. She would have preferred to play girls’ soccer but Panama had to make some hard decisions and cut the program due to low participation. There are difficulties with a consolidated team but the benefits outweigh the costs. Panama, Clymer, and Sherman alternate practice sites weekly. This means that two out of the three weeks, my daughter is home much later than she otherwise would be but we know that is the price paid to be on the team. Pooling resources have benefited the three districts and produced a state championship football team.
Board members have lauded the CSP co-op so I hope that WCSD can use it as a model and benefit as Panama has. Panama is a one-to-one district (each student has an i-pad at no cost to the student), there are tuition-free dual enrollment offerings on campus, field trips are taken frequently, and the district does not have to color-code a spreadsheet of programs and staff to see who or what makes the cut from year to year. It is time to allow the board to consolidate or cut so that they and the administration can focus on academics as that is the purpose of a school. Everything else is secondary.